Mamata Banerjee says would have shared Teesta water with Bangladesh if situation was favourable

Contending that Bangladesh was hurt over the Teesta dispute, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she would have shared water from the river with the friendly neighbour had the situation been favourable. They (Bangladesis) are hurt because we could not share with them Teesta waters. If I had the ability, I would have definitely shared Teesta waters with them. Ive no problem. Bangladesh is our friend. no doubt about that. Jyoti Basu (when he was the CM) had also shared waters from the Farakka barrage with Bangladesh, Banerjee said while speaking at the Assembly here. The Teesta water-sharing deal was set to be signed during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs visit to Bangladesh in September 2011, but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by Banerjee. The chief minister had been opposed to Teesta water-sharing pact with Bangladesh, maintaining that people in her region would not get a single drop. Teesta is drying up. If we share its water, then people of Siliguri, Jalpaiguri will suffer, the farmers will not be able to carry out agricultural activities. I am saying this because I have seen the situation, she had said in 2017. Back then, the CM had also referred to her proposal of sharing waters of Torsa, Manshai, Sankosh and Dhansai rivers. Teesta is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period – from December to March – when the flow of water comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs. That time (when Bangladesh stopped supplying Hilsa to West Bengal), thinking about the hilsa-loving Bengalis in our state, we opened up a research centre in Diamond Harbour (three years back). They are currently carrying out research work on Hilsa, she said. If they are successful in the research work, we will be able to supply Hilsa to the entire world, she claimed. The chief minister also emphasised that there was no scarcity of Hilsa fish in West Bengal at the moment. During Hilsa season (July to September), we get enough fish from Diamond Harbour and Kolaghat, she said while replying to a query by Deganga MLA Rahima Bibi. Bibi had originally posed the question to state irrigation minister Suvendu Adhikari. Banerjee said when her party came to power in the state, fish were mainly supplied from Raipur and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh and parts of Andhra Pradesh. It was then that the state started using 700 agricultural ponds for pisciculture, she added.


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